Leadership Heartbeats …

heart-of-L-4b-preorderMark Miller has done it again …

In his fourth book, Mark continues to chip away at my aversion to narrative leadership development by using realistic scenarios, dialogue that sounds like people actually talking, and by communicating a clear message that resonates with me.

Anyone who cares about their personal leadership ability or who is responsible for the leadership development of others, will find much of value in this little fable.

The Heart of Leadership is a slender book, but one packed with thoughtful and research-based observations about the characteristics and attitudes that make someone a superlative leader. As the subtitle suggests, the best leaders have followers who are with them voluntarily and enthusiastically.

I won’t spoil the message by listing either the five core attributes or any of the many highly quotable points made by Mark as he spins a tale of a young leader who has lost his way. You can find those gems for yourself

Somewhat channeling Mitch Albom, Miller’s hero seeks guidance from an older and wiser person, who directs him to five people who each share part of what he needs to learn about being an effective leader … a leader with heart.

“Heart” may sound rather squishy, but Mark’s concept of effective leadership is anything but … this is solid and useful leadership thinking.

Perhaps the most intriguing person in the book is the hero’s father, who we never meet directly, since he dies before the start of the book. Regardless, his influence is everywhere,in every key character, and in the message of this little gem of a leadership development tool.

Buy it, read it, reflect on it, share it, discuss it … Once you crack the cover and start reading, you cannot fail to learn and grow as a leader  … promise.

Leadership development is a crowded field and many ideas and perceptions compete for our attention … Mark Miller is one of the few who should not have to.

Enjoying the book, the author, and the attitude in the Heartland ….



Mark Miller, well known business leader, best-selling author, and communicator, is excited about sharing The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow with those who are ready to take the next step. You can find it on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere.

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Preparing …

“O Lord, prepare me …

To be a sanctuary, …

Pure and holy, tried and true…

With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.”

No special reason for posting this, other than I find it one of the most inspiring prayers ever sung.

Neither of these versions is my favorite, but I find the words still move me, even in different tempos.

My favorite version?:   Sung by me without instruments, softly, but not too slow, in an empty room, before the people come and the action begins.

What songs inspire you?

Singing the words and trying to live them out in the Heartland ….


“Thanks For All The Fish …”

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “Thank You”, that would suffice.”

Meister Eckhart as quoted in A Bucket of Surprises‎ (2002) by J. John and Mark Stibbe  

Keeping it simple in the Heartland ….


Getting Up The Next Day …

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

Vince Lombardi  As quoted in Into the Gauntlet (2010) pg. 181

Well, it might be a little about HOW you get up too …

In one of those little life coincidences, this quotation comes in the order the day after I learn of a dear friend’s cancer.   My thoughts over the past day have been much about how we deal with what life presents to us.

We will get knocked down … as sure as God made little green apples.

No surprises there.  Life has an apparent randomness to it and events happen without notice, without reason, and without checking first to see who deserves a better deal.

I hate this phrase, but it fits:   “It is what it is.”

Railing about the unfairness of something does little to address the reality.  Being upset may feel good for a while, but that gets old rather quickly.    Despair only leads down and that spiral does not end well.

So how to get back up when you are lying flat on your back with the wind knocked out of you?

Here’s one prescription from another dear friend and the husband:

“In the meantime we are focusing on healing prayer/meditation, right thinking, trusting God, and giving attention to the many avenues of health and support that are so very important. Thanks in advance for your love and care. It means so much in a time such as this.”

The simple faith, acceptance, and positive attitude I see in these words works for me.  If you are lying on the floor and struggling for breath over what life has handed you, maybe they will help you some as well.

Hurting and looking for comfort in the Heartland ….


Composing A Humility Prayer ….

Oh, Lord, It’s Hard to be Humble …”   Oops, wrong genre.

Dear God, help Me to be Humble in Spite of My Many Gifts …”  Nope, still quite right.

Sweet Jesus, Help Me Carry My Cool With Restrain In Front of Those Lesser favored by You …”     Way off track now.

“God, please help me to see others in the same light I pray you see me.  Look beyond my faults and shortcomings, see my heart and my intentions, and help me to do better.”   Getting there ….

Inspired by recent events around the “Occupy The Tea Party” movement, continued partisan political bickering, and a general air of divisiveness in the crisp Autumn air.

Thinking about how I need to do better in the Heartland.